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Generics are sentences such as "ravens are black" and "tigers are striped", which express generalizations concerning kinds. Quantified statements such as "all tigers are striped" or "most ravens are black" also express generalizations, but unlike generics, they specify how many members of the kind have the property in question. Recently, some theorists have(More)
Generics are statements such as ''tigers are striped'' and ''ducks lay eggs''. They express general, though not universal or exceptionless, claims about kinds (Carlson & Pelletier, 1995). For example, the generic ''ducks lay eggs'' seems true even though many ducks (e.g. the males) do not lay eggs. The universally quantified version of the statement should(More)
Generics are statements that express generalizations, such as 'ducks lay eggs'. Intuitively, such statements seem true. Even the universal form of such statements e.g., 'all ducks lay eggs' seems true, despite our knowing that the majority of ducks do not. We conducted an experiment to verify these intuitions, and found that people overwhelmingly judged(More)
Generic sentences (e.g., bare plural sentences such as "dogs have four legs" and "mosquitoes carry malaria") are used to talk about kinds of things. Three experiments investigated the conceptual foundations of generics as well as claims within the formal semantic approaches to generics concerning the roles of prevalence, cue validity and normalcy in(More)
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Thought experiments about the self seem to lead to deeply conflicting intuitions about the self. Cases imagined from the 3 rd person perspective seem to provoke different responses than cases imagined from the 1 st person perspective. This paper argues that recent cognitive theories of the imagination, coupled with standard views about indexical concepts,(More)
The gender imbalance in STEM subjects dominates current debates about women's underrepresentation in academia. However, women are well represented at the Ph.D. level in some sciences and poorly represented in some humanities (e.g., in 2011, 54% of U.S. Ph.D.'s in molecular biology were women versus only 31% in philosophy). We hypothesize that, across the(More)
Social essentialism entails the belief that certain social categories (e.g., gender, race) mark fundamentally distinct kinds of people. Essentialist beliefs have pernicious consequences, supporting social stereotyping and contributing to prejudice. How does social essentialism develop? In the studies reported here, we tested the hypothesis that generic(More)
Generic statements (e.g., "Lions have manes") make claims about kinds (e.g., lions as a category) and, for adults, are distinct from quantificational statements (e.g., "Most lions have manes"), which make claims about how many individuals have a given property. This article examined whether young children also understand that generics do not depend purely(More)